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10 of the best cars for motorway driving 2024

Almost all modern cars can tackle a motorway trip, but some are much better than others. The ideal long-distance cruising companion will have comfortable suspension, a practical cabin and enough power so it doesn't feel strained when overtaking. If it also looks good and sips fuel while on the move, you've hit the jackpot.

If your job or lifestyle has you spending hours slogging up and down the UK's motorways, these are the best cars for the task. Our picks are listed alphabetically and cover a selection of brands, body styles and price points, so there's something here for everyone.

1. Audi A4

2019 Audi A4 saloon (Sport trim) driving

Some cars are focused on doing one thing well, and then you get models like the Audi A4 that excel in almost every measurable area. A4s are comfortable, spacious, powerful, efficient, and beautifully made from top-notch materials. This means driving the A4 is effortless – whether you're navigating tight city streets or eating up the miles on a long motorway journey – with light, accurate steering, plenty of punch for overtaking and excellent body control over rough road surfaces.

Shop used Audi A4 cars for sale or read our Audi A4 review

2. BMW 3 Series

Like the A4, the BMW 3 Series is a true all-rounder that's fun and fuss-free to drive, whether you're crawling through stop-start traffic or sat in the outside lane of the motorway. It's hard to pick a key selling point when the whole package is so impressive, but we think the 3 Series' balance between comfort and handling marks it out as one of the best-driving cars of its generation. That alone makes it an easy recommendation as a motorway machine but you also get the added bonus of a plush, tech-laden cabin to keep you entertained.

Shop used BMW 3 Series cars or read our BMW 3 Series review

3. Citroen C5 Aircross

Citroen C5 Aircross in blue – driving shot

If you need a great motorway car that's also usefully practical, check out the Citroen C5 Aircross. This big French SUV definitely isn’t the last word in sporty handling, but Citroen's fitted it with clever suspension tech so it glides over bumps with the kind of composure that would make a Range Rover sit up and take note. What's more, the cabin is huge, with a vast boot and three individual rear seats, making the C5 Aircross a superb choice for carrying five. Nearly new examples are very well priced for their size, so you can enjoy some impressive savings against a brand new example. Also check out the Vauxhall Grandland if you want a similar experience from a British brand.

Shop used Citroen C5 Aircross cars for sale

4. Ford Kuga

Look past the dodgy name spelling and you'll find that the Ford Kuga is an extremely talented family SUV. What's remarkable about the Kuga is the fact that it feels like a lower, lighter car on the road, and could easily make you forget it's a tall, practical SUV. Those car-like dynamics make it a brilliant choice for covering motorway miles, with none of the wallowy body control you often find on SUVs. Plus, once you're done enjoying the Kuga's sharp handling, you can relax thanks to acres of cabin space and plenty of on-board tech.

Shop used Ford Kuga cars for sale or read our Ford Kuga review

5. Mercedes A-Class

The Mercedes A-Class takes all the talents you'll find in the brand's bigger cars and distills them into a hatchback package that's the perfect size for UK roads. Take a seat and you're immediately enveloped in a plush, comfortable cabin that's dripping in the latest tech features. Where the A-Class really seals the deal, however, is on the road. The whole lineup is powered by strong, responsive engines – most of which are connected to slick-shifting automatic gearboxes – and the ride quality could easily fool you into thinking you're driving a luxury car that's twice the price.

Shop used Mercedes A-Class cars for sale or read our Mercedes A-Class review

6. Mercedes GLC

Why choose the much more expensive Mercedes GLC over the A-Class? Well, besides the obvious extra space and practicality, the GLC boasts the only diesel-electric plug-in hybrid engine on the market right now. Most plug-in hybrids aren’t always very efficient on the motorway, but the GLC 300de has the backup of a frugal diesel engine that’ll still do big MPG numbers on a cross-country commute. Then, when you get to a city, you can switch to electric power to drive without any exhaust emissions whatsoever. On paper, the GLC is one of the most efficient cars you can buy, as it’s capable of an astonishing 706mpg if you charge the battery as often as possible.

Shop used Mercedes GLC cars for sale

7. Nissan Qashqai

2019 Nissan Qashqai cornering

If you're looking for a motorway buddy on a slightly tighter budget, check out the Nissan Qashqai. An all-new version launched in 2021, but you can still find nearly new examples of the previous generation Qashqai with huge savings off the brand-new price. And, while it might not be the newest knife in the drawer, the old-shape Qashqai can genuinely count itself as one of the comfiest cars you can buy, thanks to a soft suspension setup that was developed specifically for the UK's cracked road surfaces.

Shop used Nissan Qashqai cars for sale or read our Nissan Qashqai review

8. Peugeot 208

Peugeot 208 in yellow – driving shot

This is another great choice if you need a motorway cruiser on a tighter budget. The Peugeot 208 actually shares most of its parts and engines with the Citroen C3 and Vauxhall Corsa, but has better body control than the former and is more comfortable than the latter, making it a top-class motorway choice. Efficient engines, a neat, stylish cabin and all the on-board mod-cons you'd expect to stave off the boredom of a long journey all help make it easy to spend hours on the go in the 208. Go for a diesel and you can expect up to 70mpg, which'll keep the cost of long journeys down.

Shop used Peugeot 208 cars or read our Peugeot 208 review

9. Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 in red – driving shot

Naysayers might have you thinking an electric car has no business on the motorway, but we reckon the Tesla Model 3 is the prefect car to prove them wrong. For one, Long Range versions claim more than 370 miles on a full charge and, with prodigious amounts of power from their electric motors, you can rocket up to the national speed limit in an astonishingly short amount of time. Plus, with most motorway service stations now offering high-power DC fast chargers, you can now recover most of your battery's charge in the time it'll take you to stretch your legs and have a coffee.

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10. Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen Polo Beats in white with grey/red stripe – driving shot

Last but not least is the Volkswagen Polo. This is a plush-feeling compact hatchback that feels just as home on tight city streets as it does on the motorway. It's not just the soft-yet-controlled suspension that helps set the scene, however, but also the Polo's impressive refinement, which cuts out much of the high-speed road and wind noise you'll hear in some less-sophisticated rivals. To help the miles fly by, the Polo also comes loaded with convenience and entertainment features, meaning you'll always have access to your complete song library so your motorway trip has the perfect soundtrack.

Shop used Volkswagen Polo cars for sale or read our VW Polo review

Found the perfect motorway companion?

If you like the look of any of the cars on this list, why not check out Motorpoint's huge range of nearly new cars for sale. For more options, check out our picks for the best nearly new SUVs on sale, or our favourite family hatchbacks.

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